In an impassioned plea to the Berkshire Museum’s board of trustees, today the Save the Art – Save the Museum citizen’s group published a full-page open letter in The Berkshire Eagle calling for a stop to the impending auction of the Museum’s art treasures, including two Norman Rockwell paintings.
I’ve been clear for some months now that I consider the Berkshire Museum’s current deaccessioning plan to be a very, very bad idea. But is it illegal?
The opponents of the sale would certainly love it to be, and now they have their wish: a lawsuit has been filed (the whole thing is here, if you want to read it for yourself), and it’s as strong as anybody could have hoped.
With the Berkshire Museum’s plans to send 40 artworks to auction next month (now facing a court challenge), Save the Art – Save the Museum will hold two public events this week to support efforts against the sale. On Thursday, Oct. 26, a Fundraising Social will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at Wandering Star Craft Brewery in Pittsfield. On Saturday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the sidewalk outside the Berkshire Museum on South Street in Pittsfield, Save the Art will hold its third public rally to “pause” the sale.
Raising its bid to halt the Berkshire Museum’s plan to sell-off 40 of its most important artworks—including two irreplaceable Norman Rockwell paintings donated to the Museum for the people of Berkshire County by the artist himself—Save the Art – Save the Museum, a community-based grassroots movement, announced today that it has launched a GoFundMe campaign to underwrite legal action on behalf of Pittsfield’s and the Berkshires’ cultural heritage.
The Berkshires, in western Massachusetts, are one of those tourist destinations where you feel the need to set your watch back fifty years or so. The region is conservative, with a small “c,” sprinkled with small farms, rolling hills, clapboard houses. It is, quite literally, Norman Rockwell country—for the last quarter century of his life, Rockwell lived in Berkshire County.
In recent weeks, however, the oldest museum in Pittsfield, the Berkshires’ largest town, has divided the local community, prompted an investigation by the Massachusetts attorney general, and placed this bucolic county at the center of a firestorm.
SAVE THE ART (STA) A grassroots citizens group established in 2017 with the intent of stopping the sale of the Berkshire Museum’s treasured art collection in order to find an alternate solution to its continued financial shortfall.
The mission of Save the Art is to advocate for and protect the Public Trust — the art and objects belonging to all of us that document humankind’s creative and social history through time.
We thank the Berkshire Eagle for their extensive investigative coverage, the journalists, op-ed writers and our community for their hundreds of letters of concern and applaud Larry Parnass / Investigations Editor for his 2018 Outstanding Journalism award. See The Berkshire Eagle page located in Press menu.